There are some roles and performances that lodge themselves in our collective cultural consciousness. Distinctive interpretations that can evoked by a single line of dialogue, a piece of costume, or a even a glance to camera. Such is the case with Malcolm McDowell’s Alex DeLarge in Stanley Kubrick’s 1971 A Clockwork Orange. Indeed, the actor’s star turn as the vicious leader of a gang of “droogs” is one of British cinema’s enduring images.
Clad in white and black, Alex and his friends speak a twisted futuristic slang as they embark drug-fueled campaign of terror, rape and “ultra-violence”. When the authorities catch up with Alex, he is presented with the option of an experimental aversion therapy designed to cure him of his violent nature — but the stomach churning programme of force-fed graphic imagery set to Alex’s beloved Ludwig van Beethoven raises visceral philosophical questions for the audience.
the ultimate fan experience with McDowell himself on-hand, in-person, to answer questions
Adapted from Anthony Burgess’ novel, the film garnered controversy from the very beginning. It was banned in several countries and withdrawn from British cinemas in line with Kubrick’s wishes following reports of copycat violence. Today it retains its disturbing power, but is rightly recognised as one Kubrick’s defining works, and a true landmark of British cinema.
A Clockwork Orange is already an almost overwhelming experience on the big screen, but Sheffield’s Showroom, in partnership with HorrorCon, have lined up the ultimate fan experience with McDowell himself on-hand, in-person, to answer questions on his interpretation of the character and the film’s enduring legacy alongside host, journalist Tony Earnshaw, before the screening.